5 things you need to know about Trademarks/Patents and IP
- Protecting your business’s intellectual property (IP) is crucial. In the knowledge economy IP is a particularly important asset. There are various forms of IP rights and protection, including trademarks, patents, copyright, trade secrets and general confidential information.
- Most businesses are building a brand, whether it be as a provider of goods or services. Your business name and logo are clearly vital to that brand. In order to stop competitors using your name or a similar name in your business area you can register a trade mark. A trademark consultant, trademark attorney or lawyer can do this for you.
- If you’ve invented a product you may be able to patent it. Registering a patent is a task that ranges in complexity, but you will need an experienced patent attorney to guide you through the process. The simplest form of patent is an innovation patent, which is cheaper and less complex than a standard patent. Your patent attorney will advise you on the best type of patent for your situation.
- Trade secrets and confidential information are an important form of IP. You can try and protect trade secrets from theft by employees by ensuring IP protection clauses are built into their employment contracts. Before you share confidential information or trade secrets with another business you should ask them to sign a confidentiality agreement to protect your IP. If you move ahead and do business with them, you need a legal agreement to set out what is happening with the intellectual property that is created. For example, do you assign it (sell it), or license it (like a lease) to the other party.
- Intellectual property is a complex area of law. Because of the complexity, legal specialists such as trademark attorneys, patent attorneys and IP lawyers exist to assist you. Make use of them!
Business And Commercial, Litigation, IP, IT And Media, CleantechExperience:
Herbert Smith Freehills, Optim Legal
Intellectual Property, Trademarks, Information Technology/Online LawExperience:
Clifford Chance, Sparke Helmore, Wallington Dummer Patent & Trademark Attorneys
IP Strategies, Rio Tinto, Nestle, Linkwater